After a successful kick-off meeting on Feb. 21, the new GA/Greater Atlanta Chapter will serve as host chapter for DMEC’s Annual Conference at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, August 18 – 21.
“The Atlanta DMEC Chapter has gotten off to a great start with two extremely successful and well-attended meetings in November and February,” said chapter President John Early, Benefits Manager, Delta Airlines. “We are looking forward to several exciting events the rest of the year including a presentation May 16th on how to build and incorporate a company’s positive culture into its RTW programs; enhancing communications between employees, supervisors, treating physicians, and insurers; and compliance with the ADAAA. Beyond that, we’re extremely excited to support the Annual Conference this August!”
Early thanked the chapter’s 2013 Joint Charter Sponsors, Lincoln Financial Group and Social Security Advocates for the Disabled (SSAD). “Their assistance was instrumental in getting the chapter started!” he said. Greater Atlanta is the second chapter launch that SSAD has co-sponsored, beginning with the Colorado Chapter last year.
“Social Security Advocates for the Disabled is very pleased to be co-sponsoring the DMEC Greater Atlanta Chapter,” said CEO Ann Marie Beaudoin. “SSAD has a sense of shared mission with DMEC and its members. Using training and best practices learned from DMEC, employer disability/absence management programs can play an important role in helping people enter a new phase of life as they learn how to live with a disability—a phase that may include services from SSAD.”
“Lincoln’s Group Protection division provides a wide portfolio of financial protection solutions to employers and their employees, including our disability program, ranked #4 by LIMRA in 2012,” said Les Kertay, VP and Chief Medical Officer. “As a carrier we understand the value of integrated disability and absence management as a key strategy for helping employers maximize the health and productivity of their workforce. Lincoln’s decision to sponsor DMEC’s Atlanta Chapter is part of our ongoing strategy to support employers in implementing these solutions, and we are very excited to be a part of launching this new chapter.”
The Greater Atlanta Chapter has a full Board, including Early and:
- Vice President Recharda Graydon, Coca Cola Refreshments, Senior Benefits Analyst;
- Treasurer John Hobson, Aon Hewitt, Consultant;
- Secretary Zanita Miller, Wellpoint, Sr. Quality Investigation & Compliance Analyst;
- Programming Chair Josie Rodriguez-Dolan, Exam Coordinators Network, Director of Sales Southeast Region;
- Communication Co-Chairs Les Kertay (VP and Chief Medical Officer) and Dottie Tieslau (Manager, LTD Claims) of Lincoln Financial Group; and
- Hospitality Co-Chairs Anna Hewell (Analytic Consultant) of The Hartford and Adrienne Russell (Benefits Advisor) of Turner Broadcasting Network.
Other people who served on the Chapter Steering Committee during startup were: Bonnie Berry of Haverty’s Furniture Co., Paul Jenkins of SSAD, Nancy O’Reilly of Fastrack RTW, Francie Purnell and Jennifer Wyant of Republic National Distributing Company, Kinnette Richardson of Gentiva Health Services, Amanda Rigg of Sedgwick, and Joan Williams of Liberty Mutual.
“Our new board members are passionate about starting a chapter in the greater Atlanta area, which makes it exciting to work with the group,” said Sharon Milligan, DMEC Chapter & Volunteer Liaison. “With two successful meetings and a big year ahead, they’re off to a great start to provide education and resources to the employers in the region.”